Air traffic controllers vote to renew industrial action against centralisation

Air Traffic Controllers for Highlands and islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) have voted overwhelmingly to renew their mandate for industrial action in opposition to centralisation.

Members of the Prospect Union have been engaged in a limited industrial action since January which includes an overtime ban, refusal to cooperate with the remote towers project, and a refusal to assist in the training for new recruits.

Prospect say they have not ruled out the possibility of future strike action.

The decision to continue with the project has come under fire from all sides after a damning Islands Impact Assessment showing the substantial negatives of the project for islands economies and an equally critical report into Hial’s project management.

A parliamentary question from MSP Beatrice Wishart this week found that Scottish government ministers had still not discussed the Islands Impact Assessment, despite it being received by Hial in November and published in March.

Hial say it must push ahead with its modernisation programme, however.

Prospect negotiator David Avery said: “Prospect members have signalled with this vote that they are determined to stand firm against this disastrous project.

“We support modernisation of air traffic control, but the case for remote towers has been comprehensively demolished from every angle and yet Hial and Scottish government ministers simply refuse to consider the alternative options.

“The project it opposed by staff, local communities, local politicians and independent experts- it is time for HIAL to read the room and seriously engage with alternative proposals.”


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